Dave Cameron FanGraphs Chat – 11/4/15

11:45
Dave Cameron: Welcome to the first Wednesday of the off-season. Let the crazy trade and free agent speculation begin.

11:46
Dave Cameron: The queue is now open, and we’ll kick off in 10 or 15 minutes, talking mostly about what your favorite team might do this winter.

12:01
Dave Cameron: Alright, let’s have some fun for an hour.

12:01
Comment From Mets
Let’s assume I can’t afford/won’t pay Cespedes or Murphy. What next – Zobrist? Rasmus? Darren O’Day? I came so close this year, what pieces do I need to win those last few pesky games next year?

12:02
Dave Cameron: I would expect the Mets to go after a shortstop — Ian Desmond being the obvious free agent, but maybe explore trades too — and move Flroes to second, where he can keep a spot warm for Dilson Herrera. I’d guess they’ll probably look for a part-time CF who can split time with Lagares, or fill if he ends up having TJ surgery, and then spend a bunch of money on the bullpen.

12:03
Comment From Pale Hose
Any thoughts on the FA crowd source outside of the crowd being generally low?

12:04
Dave Cameron: This is always the case. It’s a byproduct of the fact that we’re taking the aggregate results of a wide variety of opinions, while free agents only sign with the highest bidder. If we reported the median of all the offers the FAs got, the totals would be lower, but we only ever hear about the top offer, or the top two or three sometimes.

12:04
Dave Cameron: So, yeah, for the top guys, add a year and a few million in AAV. That will be closer to what they actually sign for.

12:05
Comment From Phillies113
Who’s most likely to get traded this offseason, and to where? Thank you!

12:06
Dave Cameron: Among notable players, I’ve continue to guess Yasiel Puig. I could see a fit between the Dodgers and Astros, with LA targeting some of Houston’s upper-level prospect depth.

12:06
Comment From mtsw
Any of the contract crowdsourcing numbers strike you as particularly off?

12:07
Dave Cameron: The Zobrist number is crazy low. 3/$42M isn’t even going to be in the ballpark. Leake at 4/$56M is quite low too.

12:07
Comment From Prof
Matz’s chances at 2016 ROY?

12:07
Dave Cameron: Don’t think he’ll be eligible; too much service time, I believe.

12:08
Comment From Terrible Ted
How much will it hurt the Jays to have an interm GM going into free agency?

12:08
Dave Cameron: Hardly at all. Shapiro is in charge, so it’s akin to a team not having an AGM in place.

12:08
Comment From Bernie
Is the 2016 Mariners 1B currently on their 40 man?

12:09
Dave Cameron: I doubt it.

12:09
Comment From chief
cubs offseason…. sign Price and Gordon, use Soler, Castro, Mckinney, etc. for another top line pitcher– Archie Bradley, Gausman, Ross. Possible?

12:10
Dave Cameron: I doubt they go for Price. You don’t need three #1 starters, and paying a huge premium for an ace who will only start once in the division series (assuming you get there) isn’t a very efficient use of resources. I’d bet they go for one of the Zimmermann/Cueto duo, or go after a young pitcher on the trade market.

12:10
Comment From Eddy
The Marlins trading Ozuna would be a very dumb thing to do, right?

12:11
Dave Cameron: Not necessarily; if everyone else in baseball likes him, you might very well get a solid return.

12:11
Comment From Tom (ATL)
Please tell me the Braves don’t get Wieters

12:12
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t be too surprised. Local kid, they have a need at C.

12:12
Comment From Skore
Disclaimer: Giants fan. Now, is it reasonable to expect that the development of Duffy, Panik, Crawford coupled with the continued excellence of Belt and Posey can provide them with a new window of a few years? The new core is mostly position players+Bumgarner…

12:12
Dave Cameron: Yeah, it’s reasonable. I think the Dodgers will continue to present a significant hurdle, but the Giants shouldn’t need to rebuild; they can round out the roster and try to make another run.

12:13
Comment From Jaack
I was scrolling through the comments on Sullivan’s article on Dusty, and boy do people really hate Baker. Is it just me, or is the saber-narrative on managers being awful gotten really silly?

12:13
Dave Cameron: Yeah, it’s kind of ridiculous. This is an area where we just don’t know enough to draw strong conclusions, but people like to do so anyway.

12:13
Comment From Joe
Which free agents on the Top 82 list is the community over-valuing? under-valuing?

12:14
Dave Cameron: The crowdsourcing usually is too high on the low-end guys. I don’t see Latos getting 2/$22M this winter, for instance.

12:14
Comment From Vance
If the Dodgers trade Puig, could they go after Heyward in FA?

12:14
Dave Cameron: Or Gordon, maybe.

12:14
Dave Cameron: But yeah, if they trade Puig, I’d imagine they’ll be aggressive in going after a new star outfielder.

12:14
Comment From Lucas
If Heyward was able to get an opt-out clause in his contract, how would that change things?

12:15
Dave Cameron: I think most people expect him to get one. He’ll probably agree to a somewhat backloaded deal, or a little less in terms of contract length, in order to get the opt-out. So maybe he takes 9/$200M with an opt-out, when he could get 10/$220M without it, or something like that.

12:16
Comment From ACJ
Hi Dave, Who is the first free agent to sign ?

12:16
Dave Cameron: I’d guess a mid-tier hitter at a position where there’s no star available to “set the market”. Maybe Daniel Murphy?

12:17
Comment From Pete
Billy Hamilton had a .264 babip last year so one would expect that to improve. Given that and his defensive value could he be a trade target for Cubs to fill their CF hole assuming they let Fowler go and spend big on SP in FA?

12:17
Dave Cameron: I doubt the Reds would want to trade him in-division, and I don’t know that he’s what the Cubs want.

12:17
Comment From KG
are the Cardinals going to give Grichuk everyday playing time next year?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Probably something close to it. Maybe 500 PA instead of 650.

12:18
Comment From Zonk
Since there will be 1 million Starlin Castro rumors, how would you assess his trade value?

12:18
Dave Cameron: Slightly positive. Can probably move the whole contract and get something minor in return, or get something decent if they eat money.

12:19
Comment From The Dude
The Cubs pitching staff had the best FIP in all of MLB and the second best xFIP (behind the Dodgers). Do they really need to invest into a pitcher, or would improving defense be a better allocation of money?

12:19
Dave Cameron: You have to expect some regression from Arrieta and probably Hendricks too. But I mostly agree that they don’t need another #1 starter.

12:19
Comment From Connor
Cespedes or Upton?

12:19
Dave Cameron: I’d take Cespedes.

12:20
Comment From c
should the blue jays sign chris davis in an attempt to be the owners of 50% of all home runs hit in 2016?

12:21
Dave Cameron: It’s not a terrible idea, honestly. They could use a lefty bat, and he won’t command as many years as some other high-end FAs.

12:21
Comment From EC
Mets sign Ian Desmond, right?

12:21
Dave Cameron: They make the most sense on paper.

12:21
Comment From Derek
Who are some FA’s the Phillies could sign with the premise they could flip them at the trade deadline for lottery ticket minor leaguers?

12:23
Dave Cameron: Relievers with upside (Mark Lowe?), Doug Fister, Rich Hill.

12:23
Comment From Ted
The White Sox need a catcher and the Red Sox have a couple good, young ones (assuming Vazquez makes full recovery from TJ surgery). Is there a deal to be done?

12:24
Dave Cameron: I doubt the Red Sox will move Swihart, and Vazquez isn’t a great trade chip while rehabbing. I could see them trying to make a run at Jonathan Lucroy though.

12:25
Comment From ACJ
Hi Dave, Better value Heywood or Price for 200 mil ?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Neither one is really a value at that price, but it’s fair for what they are and how much money there is in baseball. Which one I’d prefer probably depends on team construction.

12:25
Comment From GPT
Which free agent starting pitchers do you think will end up with the Giants?

12:25
Dave Cameron: Jordan Zimmermann.

12:26
Comment From Will
I understand Jeff’s point that Baker isn’t necessarily a terrible manager and people are overreacting. However, it ignores the fact that hiring Baker isn’t a binary choice. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of (better) candidates out there, and the Nationals still thought that Baker was the BEST choice (err- well, second best choice). This is what is most worrying to me. What are your thoughts on this debacle?

12:26
Dave Cameron: How do we know that the other guys are better candidates? They may very well be better strategists, and have more open minds when it comes to new ideas, but it’s not realistic to pretend that we know how to value that versus the leadership side of the job.

12:27
Comment From Josh
With the Jays having obvious 2016 rotation holes (Stroman, Hutchison, Dickey…) would you imagine them pursuing top pier FA (Price etc) or more mid-level (Leake, Shark)? Or avoiding the FA pool altogether.

12:27
Dave Cameron: I’d bet they go after one mid-tier FA and then make trades.

12:28
Comment From Jerry
Who is the Red Sox opening day starter? Gun to your head who is it? Carrasco? Cueto? Price? Sonny Gray? Other?

12:28
Dave Cameron: A few weeks ago I said Matt Harvey, but his playoff performances might have kept him in NY. So now I’ll get crazy and say Jose Fernandez.

12:28
Comment From Ryan
There is a little bit of smoke in Houston about the Astros possibly being in the Greinke sweepstakes. Do you buy it?

12:29
Dave Cameron: I could see them trying to get him, but everyone I talk to thinks he re-signs in LA.

12:29
Comment From Minty
How much does Carlos Martinez’ injury worry you?

12:29
Dave Cameron: Small guy with high velocity experiencing arm problems? Worried.

12:30
Comment From Vance
Thoughts on the end of Grantland?

12:31
Dave Cameron: It’s a loss for the industry, as there was some really great work done there. But as content consumers, we really have no one to blame but ourselves. We can yell at ESPN all we want, but we’re the ones who are clicking on slideshows and clickbait headlines, and won’t pay subscription fees for quality reporting. We are getting the kinds of media we demand.

12:33
Dave Cameron: Hopefully, at some point in the future, a new business model emerges that works online and supports longer-form content.

12:33
Comment From Dan
By when will Moncada be ready and what does that mean for Pedroia?

12:34
Dave Cameron: Probably late-2017 at the earliest, and more likely 2018. They have time to let things sort themselves out. They usually do.

12:35
Comment From Mike
Matz is actually rookie eligible.

12:36
Dave Cameron: Well, then he has to be a favorite for NL ROY.

12:36
Dave Cameron: But it seems like he should have cleared the 45 day service line, no?

12:37
Comment From Q-Ball
Nick Cafardo quoted an AL executive as saying Alex Gordon wasn’t worth more than 3 years/$36-38 mil. No word on if that executive was Dayton Moore, or drunk. That’s way off base, isn’t it?

12:37
Dave Cameron: I’m sure Dayton Moore would give Gordon 3/$36M right now. Whoever said that has no grasp of the market.

12:37
Comment From Denard Span
Do I get a QO? What FA contract could you predict for me?

12:38
Dave Cameron: I’m guessing no QO, signs 3/$30M.

12:38
Comment From Jason
Everyone seems to agree Cespedes is due for a megadeal. I don’t disagree, but who will realistically give it to him? It seems like a lot of the usual big spenders won’t be in on him based on needs (Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees.)

12:39
Dave Cameron: Dodgers could be a fit if they trade Puig. White Sox if they decide to spend again to try and double down on winning while they have Sale/Abreu’s primes. Texas, maybe.

12:40
Dave Cameron: A reunion with the Tigers could work too.

12:40
Comment From Zonk
Hector Olivera being moved to the OF…will the Braves come to regret that trade?

12:41
Dave Cameron: Yeah, I think so. He seems like a league average player on the downside of his career with health problems. I wouldn’t have traded Wood and Peraza for that.

12:41
Comment From GK
Do the Cubs sign one of Greinke, Price, Cueto, other, or do they trade from their position player depth to bolster the rotation? How many times do you think you’ll see this question this winter?

12:42
Dave Cameron: Cueto makes a good amount of sense, especially if his price is deflated by his second half.

12:42
Comment From Derek
Are the Phillies a dark horse candidate for Heyward? He’ll still be in his prime when the kids are up in the majors. Plus they have money to burn after this year since Howard and Lee’s contracts are off the books.

12:42
Dave Cameron: I don’t know why he’d go there, given that he’ll have winning teams offering up $200M to get him. They’d have to blow everyone away in the bidding.

12:43
Comment From Zonk
How do you value Trevor Cahill? Does he get a major league deal, and if so what might that look like?

12:43
Dave Cameron: He for sure gets a major league deal, and maybe a pretty decent one. Teams saw him throwing hard and getting lots of outs down the stretch.

12:43
Comment From EC
Working for the Lerner’s seems awful, how much longer will Mike Rizzo put up with it?

12:44
Dave Cameron: There are only so many GM jobs in baseball, and while the Lerners seem like terrible owners, they also provide a pretty big payroll and enough resources to build a winner. I’d bet Rizzo knows it could be a lot worse.

12:44
Comment From Reptar
I’m going to be travelling to Raleigh & Fayetteville, NC soon. Do you have any restaurants you recommend hitting up?

12:44
Dave Cameron: The food scene in Raleigh isn’t as good as the one in Durham. So much good food in Durham. Go downtown there, pick a spot, you’ll enjoy it.

12:45
Comment From Derek
Dave, this has been bothering me for a while. Revenue and salary numbers in the game have skyrocketed in the last few years due to TV money coming in. But it’s painfully obvious that traditional TV is going to be caput in the very near future. Are the major sports prepared for this bubble to burst?

12:46
Dave Cameron: MLB is. My THT Annual article gets into this in more depth, but MLB has purchased the rights to sell online streaming to the NHL and the PGA. They’re setting up the company they’re going to spin off (for billions of dollars) to be the leader in sports streaming after the cable business model falls apart.

12:46
Comment From Ben
Assuming Span walks, do you see Rasmus as a fit for the Nats. Sp

12:46
Dave Cameron: I think they’ll give Michael Taylor a shot.

12:47
Comment From Ben
What’s your predicted contract for Zobrist?

12:47
Dave Cameron: 4/$76M.

12:47
Comment From Emissions
What’s the baseball equivalent of the VW diesel scandal?

12:47
Dave Cameron: The Cardinals hacking the Astros?

12:47
Comment From Q-Ball
If you are the Cubs, do you tender a contract to Travis Wood, at roughly $6.4 mil arb salary?

12:48
Dave Cameron: Yeah, and I’d be tempted to put him back in the rotation again.

12:48
Comment From royals fan
I need to be ready to say goodbye to Gordon and Zobrist, right?

12:48
Dave Cameron: I think you might be able to keep Gordon. Zobrist, yeah, he’s gone.

12:49
Comment From RockMan Dan
Rockies should trade Car-Go, yes? Who do you see as a good trading partner? What surplus trade value do you think he has?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Angels want an LH bat and need an OF. Seems to be the best fit.

12:49
Dave Cameron: He’ll bring back a good return.

12:49
Comment From Chris
Do you believe Jason Heyward is worth a $200m contract?

12:49
Dave Cameron: Yes.

12:51
Comment From Tom
Has Heyward’s offense, particularly his power, peaked already? Or is he entering his prime years?

12:51
Dave Cameron: I could see him adding a little bit more power, but people who know more than me are convinced the swing limits his offensive upside. But he doesn’t need to get better to be awesome.

12:52
Comment From Ryan
For the Cubs doesn’t it make more sense to trade Baez than Castro? He should get a bigger return, and it would be selling relatively low on Castro.

12:53
Dave Cameron: So, here’s the thing with “selling low”. If you believe that his value is likely to increase, and it’s easy enough to see that, then you should expect other teams to also see that, and price that expectation into their offers. Teams aren’t paying for past performance as much as they used to. If you think it’s clear that Castro is headed for improvement, then you should think he can fetch something decent in return. If you don’t think that’s clear, then maybe he’s not worth holding onto.

12:54
Comment From Jays Fan
Can the Jays build a package around Pompey and Travis to get a front-end starting pitcher?

12:54
Dave Cameron: No, probably not.

12:54
Comment From Rob
Matt Holliday to Houston for Mark Appel & Jed Lowrie

12:55
Dave Cameron: Why would the Cardinals do that? What would they want with Jed Lowrie?

12:56
Comment From John Olerud
I asked Eno (got response) and Jeff Sullivan (no response) this question already, but I’d appreciate yours as well. And with AA’s recent departure, it feels timely. In retrospect, how similar do you think the trade of Bedard for Jones and Tillman (with other throw-ins) was to the trade of Dickey for Syndegaard and D’Arnaud (with throw-ins)? Of course, hindsight muddies the water, but I personally think AA deserved as much criticism for this one as Bavasi got. And I think if AA didn’t manage to salvage his track record this year, this trade could’ve haunted him as much as the other trade destroyed Bavasi, regardless of whether AA is actually a much more savvy GM than Bavasi could’ve ever hope to be.

12:57
Dave Cameron: Not even in the same ballpark. Jones was a big league ready average player from day one, and more valuable than two years of Bedard by himself. D’Arnaud and Syndergaard were low minor prospects with lots of risk and no present value. Your perspective is based on hindsight, and seeing what Syndergaard has become.

12:58
Comment From Dave Yaunetitegraine
Is it just me or does Darren O’day to Yanks seem very likely?

12:58
Dave Cameron: I would think the Mets are the more likely NY team to sign him.

12:58
Comment From L. Scott
Would signing Shark cheap and converting him to a reliever make any sense?

12:58
Dave Cameron: He won’t sign cheap, and no.

12:59
Comment From Profar
Sonny gray for Syndergaard and flores who says no

12:59
Dave Cameron: I wouldn’t trade Syndergaard for Gray straight up.

12:59
Comment From Dave Yaunetitegraine
Severino, Gardner, Pineda and Betances for Bryce Harper.. Who says no?

12:59
Dave Cameron: The Nationals wouldn’t even consider it.

1:00
Comment From Pane
Watched the series as an angels fan. Mets seem like they have the best young core in majors no? aside from the obvious pitching, conforto has a beautiful swing and flores looks like he can be a productive player too. What do you think about this?

1:00
Dave Cameron: I’ll take the Cubs core over the Mets core pretty easily. Bats over arms.

1:01
Comment From Mike Trout
If you had a vote and I had to retire from baseball after this year for whatever reason, would you give me a HOF vote?

1:01
Dave Cameron: The rules say you have to play for 10 years. So, I wouldn’t be allowed to.

1:02
Comment From Gabriel
Would you take a chance on FIster as a SP for 1 year at 6 to 8 million? Or is he done as a SP?

1:03
Dave Cameron: He’s going to get more than $6-$8M.

1:03
Comment From Bork
If the Tigers signed Cespedes to a megadeal, that’s pretty much a nail in the coffin for any kind of financial flexibility in the future and turns them into the future Phillies of now, no?

1:04
Dave Cameron: They’re already down that path, and maybe too far down the road to avoid the inevitable crash.

1:04
Comment From Jeremy
Can you expand a bit on a HanRam-Laroche deal? Wouldn’t the ChiSox need more back?

1:05
Dave Cameron: Depends on how much money Boston picked up.

1:05
Comment From Derek
Where’s the ideal landing spot for Dom Brown to recapture his potential? Baltimore?

1:06
Dave Cameron: AAA. He’s Delmon Young.

1:06
Comment From Ben
Angels seem like a sneaky good fit for Cespedes. They had the worst LF production last year.

1:06
Dave Cameron: They want an LH hitter to complement Trout/Pujols.

1:06
Comment From johnny5alive
mlb technically also did the livestream for the dead shows this past summer… they are diversifying!

1:07
Dave Cameron: They do a lot of that stuff. They run the streaming for the NCAA tournament, HBO’s streaming platforms, WWE. BAM Tech is going to be a hugely valuable commodity when MLB spins it off.

1:07
Comment From Buck
Please explain how a 34-year old, .270avg with 12-15 homers should get 76million for 4 yearS?

1:08
Dave Cameron: Baseball teams haven’t been evaluating players based on BA/HR totals for a while now. Time to catch up.

1:08
Comment From Bork
In regards to selling low, would that be the same as selling high? For example Pillar on the Jays. Odds are against him that he’ll have as much value as this year. Would teams expect this as well and lower his value?

1:09
Dave Cameron: Yep. Teams aren’t stupid. If you expect one of your guys to get worse, they probably do too.

1:09
Comment From Ryan
Dave, I get what you’re saying, but the Cubs have had a lot of success buying low and selling high. The smart teams may not be into that, but there’s plenty of not smart teams out there.

1:09
Dave Cameron: There’s a lot fewer of them now than there used to be.

1:10
Comment From Rick
What do mets need to give to acquire Car-go

1:10
Dave Cameron: CarGo makes no sense for them. Conforto and Granderson are their corner OFs.

1:11
Comment From Derek
So I should invest in BAM tech like…ASAP?

1:12
Dave Cameron: Are you really rich? Because if not, good luck. MLB sold the NHL a very minor share of the company, reportedly 7-10%, for $300 million, with escalators that could push it to $500 million. MLB’s tech business is worth almost as much as its baseball business.

1:13
Dave Cameron: Okay, that’s going to do it for me today. We’ll do it again next week.

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Sam R
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Sam R

What do you think a realistic return for Adam Lind might be? And what team do you envision making the most sense as a trade partner with the Brewers?

Sam R
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Sam R

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